Bleak House Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Mr. Skimpole is ___________.

2. Mr. Chadband is a habitual ___________.

3. Mr. George has visited Grandfather Smallweed regarding ___________.

4. Mr. Krook's death is attributed to ___________.

5. Discouraged by the law, Richard decides to ___________.

Short Essay Questions

1. Richard Carstone has a strange way of seeing money. How does Esther illustrate his propensity to rationalize his spending?

2. what is to become of Krook's Rag and Bottle house, now that he has died? Is its disposition a surprise?

3. Describe the general scene in the Chancery hearings on the Jarndyce suit, and London, as it is set by Dickens in the first chapter. Is there anything attractive or alluring about the ambience of either?

4. What foreshadows a relationship between Woodcourt and Esther in this chapter?

5. What is interesting about Smallweed demanding money for the letters he once had in his possession?

6. Why has Chesney Wold become quiet and dismal? How is it different now from before?

7. Who is Volumnia Dedlock? Discuss her role and her physical appearance.

8. How likely is it that Mr. Jarndyce would simply bow out and suggest Esther marry Woodcourt? Is this just common courtesy or this time in England?

9. Who is Miss Flite, and what is her interest? What is the significance of her birds?

10. Discuss the ending of the story. What is Dickens' intention when he allows Esther to live on happily after all that has taken place?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There is much intrigue and undelivered communication that makes the plot of Bleak House complex and, at times, confusing. Examine in an essay all the ways in which Dickens portrays the dangers of mixed messages and miscommunication in Bleak House.

Essay Topic 2

At one point in Bleak House, Richard Carstone intends to be an MRCS, or "Member of the Royal College of Surgeons." Research this institution and determine whether it still exists and its current status.

Essay Topic 3

The issue of suicide is raised several times in Bleak House. Dickens makes it seem almost a common topic of discussion, if not a common occurrence. Try to find some research that sheds light on the suicide rate in England during the 1800s, and see if you can draw any parallels with the economic condition of the country at that time.

(see the answer keys)

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